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Silicon Valley faces a revolt after losing public trust

来源:FT中文网    2017-05-18 06:12

        A backlash against Big Tech is gathering momentum, propelled by Silicon Valley’s clumsy mistakes. The stereotype is shifting from plucky Californian underdog to faceless, malevolent behemoth.        针对科技巨擘(Big Tech)的抗议正在增多,硅谷笨拙的错误加剧了这种趋势。对科技公司的刻板印象正从加州无畏的弱者,变成面目模糊的恶毒巨兽。
        From terrorist content, sexism claims and trolls to mind-reading privacy invasion, unpaid tax and robots taking jobs, the charge sheet is growing rapidly. Technology executives risk attracting an opprobrium that is traditionally reserved for bankers. Stories have emerged of tech billionaires building bunkers in New Zealand to hedge against a revolt by the 99 per cent.        从恐怖主义内容、性别歧视指控、钓鱼帖、洞悉你所思所想的隐私侵犯、未缴付的税款到机器人夺走工作,罪名正迅速增多。科技高管可能会招致一场一直为银行家专属的责难。这样的报道已经出现:科技亿万富翁为防范一场99%的普通人发起的叛乱,在新西兰建造地堡。
        Until recently, the technology sector has been more trusted than any other. In the latest Edelman annual survey, 76 per cent of people trust technology companies, compared with about 60 per cent for most industries and 54 per cent for finance.        直到不久前,科技行业一直比其他所有行业都更受信赖。在爱德曼(Edelman)最新年度调查中,76%的受访者信任科技公司,多数行业的受信任度为大约60%,金融业为54%。
        That trust underpins Silicon Valley’s economic miracle almost as much as the technology. The halo of pioneering innovation for the advancement of humankind — embodied by Apple’s “think different” slogan and Google’s “don’t be evil” motto (now abandoned) — makes consumers feel good.        这种信任对硅谷经济奇迹的支撑作用,几乎跟技术的支撑作用一样大。为促进人类进步而开拓创新,这种光环让消费者感觉良好,这种创新体现在苹果的箴言“非同凡响”(think different)上,也体现在谷歌(Google)的箴言“不作恶”(don’t be evil,现在已被抛弃)上。
        The value at stake for Big Tech is enormous. According to McKinsey research, 30 per cent of corporate earnings are dependent on relationships with stakeholders such as governments, non-governmental organisations and activists. Uber and Airbnb’s valuations (and the viability of the “sharing economy”) are predicated on their ability to win political arguments, city by city, all over the world. Stroke-of-the-pen regulatory risk has become tap-of-the-tweet roulette in the political climate.        对科技巨擘而言,这关系到巨大的价值。根据麦肯锡(McKinsey)的研究,30%的公司利润依赖与政府、非政府组织和维权主义者等利益相关者的关系。优步(Uber)和爱彼迎(Airbnb)的估值(以及“共享经济”的可行性)取决于它们在全球各地一个接一个城市赢得政治辩论的能力。大笔一挥的监管风险,已成为推文一敲的政治风向轮盘赌。
        The stakes are as high for society. We need tech companies to help solve the world’s most costly problems, from climate change and conflict to obesity, illiteracy and smoking. That will not happen if Silicon Valley fails to address people’s concerns and loses the social licence to operate.        对于社会而言,风险也很高。我们需要科技公司帮助解决全球代价最高的那些问题,从气候变化到冲突和肥胖、文盲和吸烟。如果硅谷没有化解人们的担忧并丧失了经营的社会牌照,那么这件事就不会发生。
        Arresting the trust deficit will not be easy. Society is not homogenous and it is impossible to please all people, all the time. Take Apple, which — bravely in my view — took sides in the stand-off between consumer privacy and national security at the cost of strained governmental relationships.        消除信任不足并非易事。社会并非同质,不可能在任何时候让所有人满意。以苹果为例,该公司在消费者隐私和国家安全的对峙中以与政府关系紧张为代价站了队,在我看来,这种举动是勇敢的。
        To connect with society, companies must integrate social issues deeply into their everyday strategy and operations. Corporate social responsibility is dead. Along with its younger sibling “sustainability”, CSR has failed to bridge the chasm between corporations and society because they are often fundamentally disconnected from the core business model.        为了与社会相连,公司必须将社会问题深刻融入他们的日常战略和业务。企业社会责任已消亡。与“可持续性”这个更新的概念一样,企业社会责任也未能弥合公司与社会之间的鸿沟,其原因是它们经常从根本上与公司的核心业务模式脱钩。
        Instead, technology needs to engage radically with society, on society’s terms. That means starting a public conversation about the ethics of disruptive technologies, without propaganda or corporate spin — if companies feel comfortable they are not doing public engagement right.        相反,科技需要按照社会的条件积极与社会接触。这意味着启动一场有关颠覆性技术的伦理问题的公开讨论,不掺杂宣传和企业编造的故事——如果企业还感到舒服,那么他们与公众的接触就没有做好。
        Complacency prevented scientists from having an open dialogue about genetically modified food in Europe. GM food is now banned across the continent, at great cost to business and society. Technology risks the same outcome with artificial intelligence and neural engineering.        在欧洲,科学家出于自满未就转基因食品展开开诚布公的对话。转基因食品现在在欧洲大陆被禁,这让企业和社会付出巨大代价。在人工智能和神经工程方面,科技也可能会遭遇同样的结果。
        Less than a third of companies believe they employ the talent required to engage society effectively. Chief executives often feel completely unprepared by their traditional business training to deal with politicians or non-governmental organisations.        不到三分之一的公司认为,他们聘用了实现与社会有效接触所需的人才。首席执行官们经常会感觉,他们接受的传统商业训练完全无助于帮他们胸有成竹地与政治人士或非政府组织打交道。
        But Big Tech needs to define its contribution to society with much greater clarity. New technology has had an overwhelmingly positive impact on society. For that to continue,        但科技巨擘需要更明确地界定自己对社会的贡献。新技术一直对社会有着非常积极的影响。要让这一点继续下去,科技公司必须让世界相信,我们的目标远远超出追逐“独角兽”估值。
        tech businesses must convince the world that our purpose extends beyond chasing unicorn valuations.        本文作者是科技创业家,与人合著了《连接:企业如何通过积极与社会接触取得成功》(Connect: How Companies Succeed by Engaging Radically With Society)一书
        The writer, a technology entrepreneur, co-authored ‘Connect: How Companies Succeed by Engaging Radically With Society’        译者/梁艳裳

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